Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Sports in and outside the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024
Medalists Michaela Blyde, Grace Prendergast and Dylan Schmidt join NZ Herald Focus Sport’s Cheree Kinnear to look back on the highs, lows and special moments of this year’s record-breaking games. Video / NZ Herald
It hasn’t been long, but changes have already happened at the Summer Olympics.
Tokyo 2020 saw six new events added to its lineup with medals offered for the first time in surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, baseball, softball and karate.
Some of these have been unwavering successes with sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding presenting the best athletes in their discipline to the world.
However, baseball, softball and karate will not feature in the 2024 edition of the Games in Paris as they fall prey to relatively new rules that allow host countries to choose which peripheral sports will participate in their event (Los Angeles is expected to relive ball sports in 2028).
It made perfect sense for karate to be included in the sport’s home country, while baseball and softball, which has a strong following in Japan, did too – even though the best baseball players in the world were. absent.
From now on, the French organizers have chosen to imprint their personality at the Games by offering breakdance its first appearance.
The changes don’t stop there either and they may have implications for New Zealand’s future success.
In particular, the women’s K1 200m canoe sprint will not be contested, an event which – via Lisa Carrington – has won New Zealand three consecutive gold medals. Instead, extreme canoe slalom events for men and women have been added to the program, which promises to provide plenty of hydraulic work.
Sailing has also been a traditionally successful source of medals for New Zealand with names such as Russell Coutts, John Cutler, Craig Monk, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, and Leslie Egnot and Jan Shearer all on the podiums over the years in events that will not be taking place in Paris.
The Finnish, the 470 men and the 470 women will all be removed from the Parisian program with three new categories created in their place: the kitesurfing men and women, the 470 mixed and a third mixed event as yet unspecified.
A subtle change is also taking place within the traditional windsurfing or windsurfing event with the adoption of foils to its standard “boat”.
Elsewhere, as part of a mission to hold the first fully gender-balanced Games, changes have also been made to weightlifting and boxing. Each will have a reduced number of weight classes and an equal gender split across all events, although lingering doping concerns mean that the global inclusion of weightlifting continues to be subject to IOC scrutiny. .
The men’s 50km walk is also ending as an event, as calls – in part led by New Zealander Quentin Rew – to include a female class have been canceled. Alternatively, in 2024 there will be a mixed running walk of an as yet unspecified distance.
In addition, a new competition format for modern pentathlon, based on a site and taking place over only 90 minutes, has been approved. The competition will begin with horseback riding, followed by the bonus round of fencing and swimming, before ending with the laser-run.
“Unique and revolutionary”
Finally and perhaps the biggest change from regular Olympic transmission will be the Paris Opening Ceremony.
Where viewers are used to seeing dancers, musicians, elaborate light shows and fireworks centered around a single crowded stadium; Paris will rather carry its festivities on the Seine.
French President Emmanuel Macron told French sports daily L’Equipe last month that the opening ceremony will take place on the barges and docks of the famous waterway and will highlight World Heritage sites such as the Eiffel Tower. , Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre.
“We want it to be a ceremony of the people, open to all and unique by the experience it will bring. Something that has meaning for the French and that sends a message to the rest of the world,” Macron said.
“We want something unique and revolutionary,” he added.
It is estimated that over 300,000 fans could walk along the river to greet and cheer on the incoming artists and athletes.
“Delegations arrive in Paris by boat and cross this iconic city,” said Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris Olympic event. “Hundreds of thousands of fans are welcoming them. It would be amazing.”